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Repetitive Strain Injury Claims Against Your Employer Guide – Claims with No Win No Fee Solicitors RSI How To Claim?

No Win No Fee Repetitive Strain Injury Claims Against Your Employer

By John Bowes. Last Updated 2nd March 2021. Repetitive strain injuries, also known as RSI’s, can be a painful condition to suffer from. They can be caused by repetitive movements and overuse of tendons, muscles and nerves. In many cases, it can affect the elbows and forearms, the hands and wrists or the shoulders and neck. It could also affect any combination of those areas. It is often referred to as a work-related upper limb disorder (WRULD). RSI’s are common in the UK, and in fact, upper limb or neck musculoskeletal disorders made up 42% of the total musculoskeletal disorders reported in 2018, according to the HSE. Legal Expert could help you make repetitive strain injury claims against your employer. 

Employers have a duty to provide a working environment that is free of risks of injury. If your employer has not allowed you to take regular breaks from repetitive activities or has not introduced any rotation into your daily tasks, and you feel that this has contributed to the development of your RSI, then you could look into making a claim against your employer. 

Taking action against your employer

Whilst making an RSI claim against your employer could cause you to worry about your employment position, it might be good to know that legislation exists to protect you from being treated differently. All employers must have employers’ liability insurance to protect themselves and their employees in the event of a workplace injury. In addition, if your condition is highlighted in this way, then it may prevent future employees suffering similar injuries. 

Within the sections of this guide, we offer more information about making an RSI claim against your employer. We include;

  • Details of RSI prevention in the workplace,
  • Advice on the personal injury claim time limit,
  • The importance of choosing a personal injury solicitor with experience in RSI injury claims.

Should you have any questions about repetitive strain injury claims against your employer after reading, or if you’d like to proceed with a claim, then call 0800 073 8804 to talk to one of our experts.

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A Guide To RSI Claims Against Your Employer

repetitive strain injury claims against your employer

RSI compensation claim against employer guide

If you’re suffering from an RSI, then you could be in significant pain, and you may well be unable to complete your job to the standard that you could before the injury developed. But was RSI something that could have been avoided, and has your employer potentially been negligent in ensuring your risk of developing an RSI is minimised? If so, then you could look into making a claim against them for the suffering you’ve experienced, and any financial implications arising specifically from your injury.

Making an RSI claim against your employer could feel a little daunting. After all, if you do not have prior experience of personal injury law, you may think it would be too difficult to make a claim for an RSI injury. However, if you have a personal injury solicitor on your side, they could assist you in putting together a claim for your RSI injury. 

Within the sections of this guide, we’ll provide information on repetitive strain injury treatment, as well as going through your employer’s responsibilities when it comes to preventing RSI’s. We’ll also explain the service we could provide to you to help you claim for an RSI, and offer some guidance on potential compensation amounts for certain RSI injuries. If you have further questions on making repetitive strain injury claims against your employer, or you’d like to begin a claim, we would be glad to help.

What Is An RSI Claim Against An Employer?

An RSI claim against an employer could arise if you could prove that your employer did not take the relevant steps to ensure the injury was prevented. Employers have a duty of care to assess risks within the workplace and this includes assessing your probability of developing an RSI through your tasks and taking steps to reduce the risk of harm. If they have not done so, then they could be deemed as being at fault and therefore you could look into making an RSI claim against your employer.

Repetitive Strain Injury And Musculoskeletal Injury Statistics

The HSE does not maintain specific statistics on rates of repetitive strain injuries in the workplace. However the Labour Force Survey does look at musculoskeletal upper limb disorders. This is the category of injury which repetitive strain injuries will fall into.

Estimates show that in 2019/20 there were 480,000 people with work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Of these, 212,000 people were affected by neck and upper limb disorders. 176,000 suffered back injuries. Finally, 93,000 suffered injuries to the lower limbs. In total, 30% of workplace injuries were musculoskeletal disorders.

Additionally, the Health and Safety Executive has estimated that in 2017/18 2.6 million work days were lost due to upper limb disorders. In 2019/20 27% of all work days lost were caused by this type of injury.

The main causes of repetitive strain injuries are cited as;

  • Working in a tiring position,
  • Awkward working positions,
  • Repetitive working tasks,
  • Repetitive use of a keyboard.

Source: https://abilitynet.org.uk/sites/abilitynet.org.uk/files/RSI%20Dealing%20with%20Repetitive%20Strain%20Injury%20in%20the%20workplace%20%28April%202019%29.pdf

How Do I Know If I Have A Repetitive Strain Injury Caused By Work?

RSI is a collective term – it relates to several different injuries to the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system that occur because:

  • Someone is carrying our repetitive, continuous tasks
  • A person is in an awkward position which is sustained for some time
  • The person uses vibrating machinery
  • A person performs forceful movements

RSI Symptoms

Common symptoms of RSI could include:

  • Pain
  • Cramping
  • Numbness of muscles
  • Numbness of tendons
  • Tingling feeling in muscles
  • Tingling feeling in tendons
  • Weakness in the affected area
  • Stiffness in the affected area
  • A throbbing sensation in the affected area
  • Limited mobility

If you believe you may be developing or may have already developed an RSI injury, then it could be a good idea to visit your doctor for treatments such as steroid injections.

Diagnosing Workplace RSI Injuries

When seeing your doctor about your potential RSI, it would be wise to do so as soon as you have symptoms. Your doctor would examine you and would ask relevant questions about the actions you do repetitively to see if there could be a link between what you do and the injuries you’re suffering from. They would also ask exactly where the pain is, what causes it, and when the pain is likely to be experienced.

Examples of RSI injuries

There are a variety of different RSI injuries, including:

  • Tennis elbow (this does not have to have occurred from playing tennis – rather from a similar sort of action)
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

However, there are other examples, so if you have suffered what is thought to be another RSI through your work, and your employer could be to blame, then please do call Legal Expert, and we could get you the help you need to make an RSI claim against your employer.

How Could RSI Injuries Be Caused In The Workplace?

There are many different ways in which RSI could be caused in the workplace. Some of the main contributors could include:

  • Tiredness
  • Carrying heavy loads repeatedly
  • Working in places where the temperature is cold
  • Poorly setup workstation which encourages bad posture
  • Consistent use of vibrating machinery
  • Stress – this could lead to worsening of an RSI injury
  • Direct pressure on a part of the body
  • A blow to a part of the body
  • Having to hold a position for a long period of time
  • Repeatedly having to make forceful movement such as pushing
  • Overuse of muscles from a continuous repetitive motion

Workplaces And Employees More At Risk Of Repetitive Strain Injuries

There are some workplaces and specific jobs that carry more risk when it comes to developing an RSI. These exist across a broad spectrum of industries, but some of the most commonly at-risk workers could include:

  • Those who work in offices, using a mouse and/or keyboard – This is because the elbows, hands, and wrists are consistently used over and over again. Given many people rely on computers nowadays, these types of RSI injury are seen more than they were in the past. An office worker should adopt good posture when at their computer to reduce the risk, and their workstation set-up should be optimised to avoid harm.
  • Those who work in supermarkets at the checkout – Scanning goods across the checkout is something supermarket workers could do for the vast majority of their shift, and it is an extremely repetitive action. Not only could the hands, wrists and elbows be at risk, the back, neck and shoulders could also suffer harm too.
  • Those who have to remain in one position for long periods – If a worker is required to be static for a long period of time, they could go on to develop RSI. This could affect workers who are required to sit or stand in one position for a long period or having to grip or grasp an item for a long period of time.
  • Those working on production lines – Such jobs are fast-paced and often involve repeating the same motion hundreds of times throughout a shift. In such circumstances, task rotation or regular breaks should be introduced to minimise the risk of injury.

What Responsibilities Does Your Employer Have?

Your employer has a duty to provide a safe working environment. This extends to taking measures to prevent someone from developing repetitive strain injuries due to their work.  Contained within the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act is a protocol employers ought to follow to ensure risks are lowered as much as is reasonably possible. Risk assessments must be carried out for any job or task that could potentially lead to an injury. Regular inspections must also be carried out on equipment used, as well as the area that employees would be carrying out the work in. In terms of those who work with computers, the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 dictates how a workstation should be set up.

To lower the risk of developing an RSI, employers should:

  • Speak to employees directly about any risks that could potentially arise from any work they undertake and consult with them on how best to lower this risk.
  • Potentially change the way a task is done to reduce risk.
  • Ensure training on how to do these tasks is in place to lower risk.
  • Have clear defined procedures for any tasks that are part of employees’ jobs.

If they fail to take action to reduce the risk of an RSI, then you could be in a position to make a claim against your employer.

Returning To Work With RSI – What Changes Could I Ask My Employer To Make?

Returning to work after an RSI could be a worry, as you may fear the injury happening again. Your employer, however, should be supportive and work to help reduce this risk for you. There are steps you could ask your employer to take to help lower the risk of happening.  Since an RSI is classed as a disability, then you could legally request changes to your job or your workplace to ensure risks are lowered. These do have to be reasonable, but could include:

  • Asking for extra equipment
  • Changing a physical feature of your workplace
  • Providing extra support
  • Changing working arrangements, such as how long you spend at a task, how many breaks you are allowed and so forth.

If you provide a reasonable request to overcome the difficulties you’re having, and the employer refuses your request, they could fall foul of the Equality Act.

Note: Your employer should also recognise that if you have sustained an RSI doing a particular task, then others performing the same task might be at risk too – this means they should act to reduce the risk, not only to you but to other employees. If you’re making a claim, this also creates an opportunity for you to strengthen your case. You could approach your colleagues and ask them if they’d be interested in supporting your case by providing a witness statement, and likewise, you could do the same for them if they chose to pursue a claim too.

RSI Claim Time Limits

The usual personal injury claims time limit is 3 years from the date of your accident, but for conditions that have developed over time, this could be 3 years from the diagnosis of your injury. It may be useful to act quickly though as if you have been left worse off financially because of your RSI (lost income, for example) a compensation payment might be useful to you. If you’re considering making an RSI claim against your employer, then you could call our friendly advisors for advice and support.

What Could My RSI Compensation Claim Include?

Repetitive strain injury claims against your employer could consist of two heads of claim. These are general damages and special damages. General damages are designed to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity inflicted by the injury. We’ll look at this in more detail in the next section.

Special damages are designed to compensate you for any financial losses or expenses that have been incurred as a result of the injury. This could include travel costs to the likes of medical or legal appointments, loss of earnings, prescription or medication costs, or the costs of care if you needed help at home.

RSI Claims Against Your Employer – Personal Injury Claims Calculator

Below, we’ve put together a personal injury compensation calculator based on information provided in the Judicial College Guidelines, a legal publication used by solicitors and the courts to value claims. The calculator provides examples of RSI compensation claims. The purpose is to give you a rough idea of how much compensation your RSI claim against your employer could attract. Please note, however, that a personal injury claims compensation payout is unique to the case that is presented, so this is only an estimate.

Compensation InjuryGuidance on PayoutNotes
Injuries to the back - Minor (i)£7,410 to £11,730Where a full recovery or a recovery to nuisance level takes place without surgery within about two to five years. This bracket will also apply to shorter term acceleration and/or exacerbation injuries, usually between two to five years.
Injuries to the back - Minor (iii)Up to £2,300Where a full recovery is made within three months.
Injuries to the neck - Moderate (iii)£7,410 to £12,900Where an existing injury has been made worse.
Injuries to the shoulder - serious£11,980 to £18,020Persistant pain and a reduction in the movement of the affected shoulder. This could possibly cause issues with the arm too.
Injuries to the shoulder -minor (ii)£2,300 to £4,080Limited movement and pain and discomfort, symptoms lasting up to 1 year.
Elbow injuries minor to moderateUp to £11,820They comprise simple fractures, tennis elbow syndrome, and lacerations; i.e., those injuries which cause no permanent damage and do not result in any permanent impairment of function.
Wrist injury (b)£22,990 to £36,770Injury resulting in significant permanent disability, but where some useful movement remains.
Injury to the hand Moderate£5,260 to £12,460Crush injuries, penetrating wounds, soft tissue type and deep lacerations. The top of the bracket would be appropriate where surgery has failed and permanent disability remains. The bottom of the bracket would be appropriate for permanent but non-intrusive symptoms.

For a valuation more specific to your unique circumstances, please contact our team of advisors on the number at the top of this page.

No Win, No Fee RSI Claims Against An Employer

Making repetitive strain injury claims against your employer could be less stressful if you choose to go the No Win, No Fee route. Not only could this reduce the financial risk for you, but it gives you crucial access to justice. 

If you made a claim with Legal Expert, our solicitors would give you the opportunity to sign a No Win, No Fee Agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA is designed to offer claimants financial protection and the confidence to pursue justice. If you sign a CFA with a solicitor from our panel, you will not have to pay any fees upfront, nor will you have to pay any fees during your claim either. And if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution towards their costs. This is known as a ‘success fee’ and would be deducted from the compensation awarded at the end of the claim. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped and will be set out in clear terms in the CFA.

Why Make A RSI Claim Against Your Employer With Our Team?

Our panel of solicitors has over thirty years of experience handling personal injury claims, and as a result, they are well-versed in the complexities of the claims process. They will strive to win you the maximum amount of compensation possible and will expertly guide you through the legal process, explaining legal jargon along the way. And if ever you have a query or would like an update on your case, they’ll be on hand to take your call.

Contact A Legal Expert

If you’re ready to go forward with repetitive strain injury claims against your employer call us on 0800 073 8804.

Calls are answered by our trained advisors, so you could get the RSI advice you need quickly and without fuss. We will also offer to connect you with one of our personal injury solicitors if we feel that you could have a valid claim. There’s no time like the present So why not get in touch today for advice and support you can count on.

Helpful Resources

How much compensation for RSI? – This is our general guide to claiming for an RSI injury.

Case study – RSI – This case study looks at a payout of £12,000 for an RSI from work claim.

RSI – An overview – This takes you to the NHS page for RSI. You might find it interesting reading if you’ve been diagnosed with RSI.

RSI Action – A UK charity dedicated to RSI

BUPA – RSI – An overview of the condition from BUPA.

Who Pays Your Medical Injuries When Injured At Work – Our updated guide on claiming for medical costs.

What Are Your Rights When Injured At Work – Check our updated guide to your legal rights when injured in the workplace.

Written by Jeffries

Edited by Billing

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